In the various online content strategy discussion groups, a recurring theme has been about seeing examples of content strategy – not the processes but actual deliverables. My immediate response of wanting to help out gets tempered with the reality. First of all, sharing a document without the context is relatively useless, and most work is done under NDA. No one who wants to protect their reputations and their clients would expose that kind of work , and particularly in a public forum. As well, there may be some reluctance to give away intellectual property – in other words, if someone comes up with a particularly clever way to deliver value, that becomes a consultant’s competitive advantage. Giving it away is, in effect, giving away earning potential.
There needs to be a balance, though, between self-protection and sharing and support. This is the first in a series of posts that will share some of the generic deliverables that make up a part of a content strategy. However – and this is a big however – these deliverables are to be taken with a grain of salt. They are not offered in any sort of context. Some deliverables may apply to certain situations, and not to others. These are simply my way of doing things, and may not bear any remote resemblance to the way that others create their deliverables.
Building deliverables on common sense
If you were thrown off a boat into a lake, you would figure out how to swim. For the pioneers of content strategy, this was certainly the case. We reasoned out the processes and deliverables based on what we needed to accomplish by the end of the project. It’s still that way, for much of the practice. It has to be. You need to respond to existing situations, and work within the infrastructures and plans in place. It’s basic consulting practice: understand the current state, anticipate the future state, find the gap, and figure out how to fill it. Other consultants do that with finances, staff, and processes. We’re the consultants who do that with content – and what you create is what you need to get the job done.
With this in mind, over the new few weeks I will show examples of some basic deliverables. As always, feedback and suggestions are welcome, and I’ll add to the list as I get suggestions.
- When technology is no longer disruptive, but confounding
- Content strategy and design thinking
- The Summer of DITA becomes The Autumn of…?
- Authoring in DITA: the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly
- DITA Maps and the Real World
- A Standard for Exchanging Stories – Meet DITA Maps
- Holes in the Template: Piping content into the CMS
- To DITA or not to DITA: That’s a Good Question – Part 2
- To DITA or not to DITA: That’s a Good Question – Part 1
- DITA: Not Just for Technical Content
- Content classification and findability
- Content development
- Content management
- Content strategy
- Information design and usability
- Professional development
- Social media
- User experience